Chris O’Hare has to bow to Jakob Ingebrigtsen in European Indoors

After Chris O’Hare had produced the performance of his career to win a European Indoor Championship 3,000m silver medal, he was asked about the 18-year-old Norwegian who had cantered to victory ahead of him. His reply was succinct. “Jakob Ingebrigtsen is an animal.”

If anything that might be underselling him. Steve Cram has gone as far as to say that Ingebrigtsen could be a “once in a lifetime” athlete and he should add the 1500m title to his burgeoning trophy cabinet on Sunday .

O’Hare is a massive Celtic fan and his performance at the Emirates Arena, which lies just a few hundred yards from Celtic Park, had the crowd off its feet – especially when he overtook Jakob’s older brother Henrik on the final bend to claim a silver.

They cheered too for a bronze medal for Asha Philip in the women’s 60m, but there was disappointment in the final event of the night as Richard Kilty was unable to defy an interrupted preparation as he finished fourth in the men’s 60m.

However this was a night that belonged to Jakob Ingebrigtsen and such was the ease of his victory, by 15 metres or so in a time of 7min 56.15sec, that he was able to wave at the crowd and take a lingering look behind him to see his brother and O’Hare desperately flinging themselves to the line.

Not that the youngster saw it that way. “It wasn’t easy, there were a lot of elbows,” said Jakob, who is the youngest athlete to break the four-minute mile, a feat he achieved when he was 16. “It was a really good competition with good athletes and I’m glad to be on the podium. I am 16 minutes past my bedtime, but it’s an amazing day.”

O’Hare was just as delighted and excited, saying: “I’m happy I split up the Ingebrigtsens and just being back on the medal podium. It’s been four years since I’ve been on the podium and it’s been hellish so I wouldn’t change it – it’s made me the person I am and hopefully this is another step forward.”

Another Briton, Andrew Butchart, was much less happy with his performance after finishing 10th in 8:03.11. “I ran like an ass,” he said, “a total dick.”

Another Norwegian, Karsten Warholm, produced another staggering performance in the men’s 400m, powering away from the field to win in 45.05 – a time that equalled the European indoor record.

Britain had high hopes in the final two events of the evening – the men’s and women’s 60 metres – but they ended up with a solitary bronze from Philip. The Polish athlete Ewa Swoboda, who has tattoos of guns and roses along her arms, blasted out of the blocks to win in 7.09sec, with Dafne Schippers second in 7.14. Philip, meanwhile, pipped her compatriot Kristal Awuah to bronze by one thousandth of a second. “Everyone wants to win gold but I am happy to win a medal,” Philip said afterwards.

Kilty was left gutted after his bid to win a third successive European title ended with a fourth-place finish in a modest 6.66 behind the Slovakian Jan Volko, who ran 6.60 to win gold.

Kilty’s preparations had been unconventional to say the least as he battled back from an achilles tendon operation and was initially not selected by UK Athletics. “Considering I’ve finished a lot higher than the majority of the team I feel l’ve justified myself,” he said. “Anything less than a gold would have been a failure today. I only want to win.”

In the men’s 800m British captain Guy Learmonth was disqualified in the semi-finals after taking out Mark English, while Chris Baker finished fourth in the men’s high jump final won by the Italian Gianmarco Tamberi after failing to clear 2.26m.

Britain’s Laura Muir (centre) posed with her medals during the medal presentation ceremony for Friday’s women’s 3000m final.

Britain’s Laura Muir (centre) posed with her medals during the medal presentation ceremony for Friday’s women’s 3000m final. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Britain currently sit in second place in the medal table, behind Poland with five medals, but they are likely to at least double that tally on Sunday’s final day.

Laura Muir leads the charge as she goes for her second gold medal of the championships in the 1500m. The 25-year-old Scot, who cruised to victory in the 3,000m on Friday, is certainly very confident of success.

“Friday night was probably the most relaxed I’ve ever been at a championships,” she said. “I am so confident in my ability now. I’ve always had ability but not always had the confidence to use it and execute. I know what I can do. I know what others can do. I know the fields and my tactics. I can go with that. It’s a matter of having the whole package ready.”

Other contenders include the pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw and 60m hurdler Andy Pozzi who both got through qualification on Saturday morning, while Tim Duckworth leads the men’s heptathlon after day one. In the men’s and women’s 800m both Jamie Webb and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke have chances, and the women’s 4x400m relay team should also come close.


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